lights

Gregory Shaver gregory.shaver@jnournaltimes.com

The Echo Lake Dam, which is right next to Veterans Terrace, 589 Milwaukee Ave. in Burlington, is lit up in memory of Dick Wagner.

BURLINGTON — If you drive by the Echo Lake Dam in Burlington, you will see a sea of green, or red or blue lighting up the dam at night.

It’s a sight a Burlington area man envisioned when Veterans Terrace opened and that his wife made a reality this year in his memory.

When the terrace opened in 2009, Dick Wagner, of Lyons, looked out over the dam. “He said, ‘Let’s light up the dam,’ ” recalls his wife, Bobbie.

While he was alive, they never got around to it. But when he died on New Year’s Day in 2012 at age 74, she knew right away how she wanted to preserve his memory.

The dam officially lit up for the first time Feb. 27 and has been lighting up on a nightly basis since March 6, starting at about dusk, said Bobbie Wagner, who ran an aviation business along with her husband for about 35 years.

To make the lights a reality, her family donated funds to the Burlington Community Fund, which runs Veterans Terrace. She is the fund’s treasurer.

She declined to say how much the project cost, but she said no public funds were used to purchase and install the light pole and lights that now shine on the dam.

It’s programmed through an iPad app, and shines a variety of colors and can do different color performances, Bobbie Wagner said.

For instance, a bride getting married at Veterans Terrace could request her color scheme to shine that night, she said. The dam can also be colored red, white and blue for the Fourth of July, and a school’s colors could shine on the dam if they go to state for sports competitions or when they have prom. She also noted that it was green for St. Patrick’s Day on Monday.

Bobbie Wagner doesn’t have a favorite color yet, she said, but she has heard from others that the blue and green is the most effective and shows up the best.

“It’s meant for the whole community,” she said. “I’m hoping as they drive by they take a look at it and enjoy it.”

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